The Male Dancer: Bodies, Spectacle and Sexuality

Front Cover
Routledge, Sep 2, 2003 - Performing Arts - 236 pages
In this challenging and lively book, Ramsay Burt examines the representation of masculinity in twentieth century dance. Taking issue with formalist and modernist accounts of dance, which dismiss gender and sexuality as irrelevant, he argues that prejudices against male dancers are rooted in our ideas about the male body and male behaviour.

Building upon ideas about the gendered gaze developed by film and feminist theorists, Ramsay Burt provides a provocative theory of spectorship in dance. He uses this to examine the work of choreographers like Nijinsky, Graham, Bausch, while relating their dances to the social, political and artistic contexts in which they were produced. Within these re-readings, he identifies a distinction between institutionalised modernist dance which evokes an essentialist, heroic, `hypermasculinity'; one which is valorised with reference to nature, heterosexuality and religion, and radical, avant garde choreography which challenges and disrupts dominant ways of representing masculinity.

The Male Dancer will be essential reading for anyone interested in dance and the cultural construction of gender.
 

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Contents

THE RADICALISM OF EARLY MODERNISM
87
NIJINSKYS BALLETS AND GENDER REPRESENTATION
91
NIJINSKA AND GENDER REPRESENTATION
93
MODERNISM AND THE MALE BODY
98
MEN MODERNISM AND MODERN AMERICAN DANCE
101
AMERICAN MEN
102
TED SHAWN AMERICANNESS AND NATURAL MASCULINITY
106
MARTHA GRAHAM AND SHAWNS LEGACY
110

DANCE MASCULINITY AND REPRESENTATIONS
31
FORMALIST ACCOUNTS OF DANCE
32
DANCE REPRESENTATION AND EXPRESSION
38
DANCE LANGUAGE AND REPRESENTATION
44
DISCOURSE DANCE AND THE DANCERS BODY
45
LOOKING AT THE MALE
49
THE MALE GAZE AND THE SPECTACLE OF MASCULINITY
53
NARRATIVE AND IDENTIFICATION
57
PSYCHOANALYTICAL THEORIES OF THE CONSTRUCTION OF GENDER
63
MARGINALITY LANGUAGE AND THE FEMALE BODY
66
ABJECTION AND THE MALE BODY
68
MARGINALITY AND MOVEMENT RESEARCH
70
CONCLUSIONS
71
MODERNISM AND HETERODOX REPRESENTATIONS OF MASCULINITY
74
HETERODOXY AND HOMOSEXUALITY
76
MALE PROWESS IN NIJINSKYS ROLES
79
NIJINSKY AS GENIUS
82
NIJINSKYS HETERODOX ROLES IN FOKINES BALLETS
84
DANCE MODERNISM AND THE OTHER
118
LIMON MODERNISM AND ETHNICITY
121
ALVIN AILEY AND BLACK MASCULINITY
127
MODERNISM AND THE UNIVERSAL MALE
132
AVANTGARDE STRATEGIES
135
MERGE CUNNINGHAM
138
STEVE PAXTON
148
SET AND RESET
155
UNISEX LEGACIES
157
POST MEN
159
SEEING MASCULINITY DIFFERENTLY
163
REVEALING DESIRABLE MALES
172
MASCULINITY AT THE LIMITS
179
POST WHAT?
196
NOTES
200
BIBLIOGRAPHY
208
INDEX
218
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